GREAT DAYS GONE BY

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3752 E. Green Street, Pasadena, California 91107

I am 85 years old, born and raised in Kansas on the farm. We raised a 500 acre crop of wheat until 1919. We had a thresher and separator, made a run that year and then loaded up on a flat car and went to New Mexico in the fall to thresh in an irrigated valley. As the season of winter wheat is later, we got in on the fall threshing, then in partnership ran a Bird sell clover huller after the wheat threshing and then the ensilage cutter to fill silos. We had a 20-35 Avery gas tractor and a 28-46 Red River Special separator.

In 1918 I operated a 30-60 Rumely Oil Pull engine on a 5,000 wheat ranch in Kansas near Fort Larned, threshing with a 36-56 separator and then plowing the fields with a 21 disc plow for the fall seeding. In the fall we then filled the 18 x 72 silo.

In 1914 we had a hail storm that put most all the wheat plants on the ground. It happened on a Sunday before we planned to harvest on Monday. So father and four other farmers went to Kansas City and bought a Minneapolis steam engine and a 36 x 56 separator to thresh our wheat, as it was all on the ground and custom threshing would have been too expensive. So, we all threshed our own. Father ran the rig, cook shack and all, and I ran the header and we threshed some out of the barge.

I well remember in threshing time when the machine pulled out after the finish. All the wheat straw stacks were set on fire so the fields were clear to plow for the fall planting. Many times in the summer after harvest one could count a dozen smokes from engines up in the air on a clear, hot day as the rigs were busy. This was in Pawnee County, south of Lamed, 10 miles from town. Father and an uncle bought 640 acres of grass land, fenced it, put down well and broke sod and planted 30 acres of watermelons as they rode the plow: We had melons like you wouldn't believe!